A summary of the latest Islamic lifestyle news from around the world.
Cinemas expand in Saudi Arabia
In 2018, Saudi Arabia lifted a 35 year ban on cinemas. As of 2022, there are 57 cinemas in 16 cities, with more than 500 screens, reported Variety. Cinema admissions have surged from 149,000 at two venues in 2018 to more than 13 million tickets sold at 53 different locations last year. Box office revenues reached $238 million last year, a 95% increase on 2020. Variety noted that the sector is slated to reach $1 billion in the coming years. While movies from all over the world are shown, Egyptian movies account for 21% of box office takings despite being only 7% of releases.
Muffest+ Sustainable Modest Fashion Show held in Jakarta
The Muslim Fashion Festival+, or Muffest+, was held in Jakarta to showcase Indonesian modest fashion wear. Some 60 designs from seven local brands were featured, including Gajah Duduk, Inen Signature,BT Batik Trusmi, Bajufuku, Gamaleea, IDE Indonesia (Indonesian Ecoprint Designer Association), and Aruna Creative x Nicolo, reported the Jakarta Globe.
The fashion show started with sarung maker Gajah Duduk’s 2022 Ramadan Collection, while Aruna Creative x Nicolo “gave a modern twist to Indonesian traditional textiles (wastra) with viscose denim”.
All the designs featured Asia Pacific Rayon’s viscose rayon, “a biodegradable fibre that is not only sustainable, but also packs desirable qualities for a modest attire”.
Saudi Arabia targets Indian tourists
Saudi Arabia wants to bolster bilateral tourism ties with India, said Saudi Tourism Board CEO Fahd Hamidaddin at the World Travel and Tourism Council Global Summit in Manila, reported the Daily Excelsior.
“We went on a road trip to India, met a lot of travel agents there and have some promising partnerships. Now, our focus is on air carriers. We want to develop routes from India and grow these routes. We want to promote the destinations with our trade partners from India,” Hamidaddin said. “I am expecting a lot (of bilateral agreements) to be signed this year. Because we feel India is definitely a key market for Saudi. The government is also addressing the issue of accessibility with visas and air connectivity for leisure, business and religious travel,” said Hamidaddin.
New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s shop features India and Arab designs
To commemorate a decade of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s (MOMA) reimagined Islamic galleries, the gift shop is selling designs from Indian jewellers, “hand-embroidered linens by Morocco’s Al Nour, glassware by Lebanon’s Orient 499 and intricately embroidered Kashmiri style scarves,” reported the Robb Report. The collection is curated by designer and textile connoisseur Madeline Weinrib, who has chosen craftspeople from throughout the Muslim world.
Cambodia holds workshop on Basic Halal Tourism for officials
The Indonesian embassy in Phnom Penh held a workshop for Cambodian Tourism Ministry officials on Muslim-friendly tourism. The two main speakers were Dr. H.A. Umar, Head of the Center for Halal Product Development and Supervision, and Lady Yulia from the Indonesian Ministry of Religion.
According to the Khmer Times, the workshop was held to promote Indonesian halal products, halal lifestyle, and halal certification and standardisation. “If Cambodia can meet the needs for products and services for Muslim travellers and consumers, it is certain that around 237.53 million Indonesian Muslims are the potential customers for Cambodian products,” said Sudirman Haseng, the Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia.